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Tomato starting from Seed

The reason to start tomatoes from seed is the wider variates that become aviable to the home gardener.

Starting tomatoes from seed is easy for even the beginner.

First select the varieties of tomato you would like to grow

There are two main types of tomatoes are called Determinant and Indeterminate.

The determinate type is those that will continue to grow and produce fruit until they are killed by frost. If given the support to grow they can grow over 12 ft high at the end of the season.

The indeterminate is those that will grow to a set size and produce all their tomatoes during a short time frame. They are the preferred variety to grow in mots since they do not get as tall and have a more manageable size.

Keep in mind that a determinate plant will fill a 5-gallon pot and for the indeterminate they will spread 4 ft wide by 6 foot tall in the garden.

They may look small as seedlings,

but they will grow

For the best crop you want to make sure the plants have room to grow.

To start tomatoes from seed once you have selected your seeds is first to determine when the date of the last frost is your area is.

From whenever this date is you will subtract 6 to 8 weeks as the date when you will start your seeds indoors. You can go even longer but the plants will be larger than you must take care of indoors.

Sow 2 seeds per cell in the plastic tray or in a small pot sow as many plants as you are planning to plant out plus a couple to cover those that will not germinate.

Once you have your seeds in the pot you want to water them and lightly cover with some more potting mix to trap the moisture around the seed to help it germinate.

They germinate best at 75 to 85 deg F but will germinate at lower temperatures just take a bit longer.

When they germinate you may find that you have multiple plants in each cell.

Not to worry once they get two sets of true leaves you will want to pot these seedlings up into a larger pot.

To separate the seedlings, you just need to thoroughly water the soil and then

Holding the stems ease them from the pot

If you have multiple plants in one cell holding a stem in each hand gently pull back and forth to separate the plants from each other.

After seperating do not worry about one having a larger root system than the other.

The other option is to just cut the smaller/weaker on the seedlings off at the surface of the soil.

You will then take the seedling and pot it up into a larger pot.

The larger pot should be deeper since you want to burry the stem to increase the number of roots that form from the stem

Bury the plant up to the first set of true leaved.

Once potted up you want to thoroughly water the plants.

They may droop and look like they are suffering

but within a couple of days, they should settle into their new pot.

Keep them under bright lights to ensure they do not get leggy and lightly fertilize every 4th watering.

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